Not everyone in Parkdale loves the idea of rebranding for vegans
News of the burgeoning Vegandale block on Toronto's west side has been spreading far and wide since we first reported on it two weeks ago – some with generous interpretations of what (and where) the community is.
Billed as "mecca for the ethically minded and hungry," Vegandale is simply a collection of restaurants and services "co-existing on one city block in downtown Toronto."
That block can be found in Parkdale, on Queen Street West, between Dufferin and Brock – but it is not Parkdale, nor is it trying to take over Parkdale.
There's more bullshit in this attempted "rebrand" of my neighbourhood - the historically rich, diverse, gentrifying Parkdale as "Vegandale" than in all the world's meat production combined. pic.twitter.com/OCboTC59hj— Liisa Two Evil Eyes (@LiisaLadouceur) March 8, 2018
By the way some people are reacting to concept, however, you'd think that vegans were trying to gentrify an entire a village turned Toronto neighbourhood – one that stretches all the way west to Roncesvalles, and up from the water to well past Queen.
the attempt to rebrand parkdale as vegandale is one of the ugliest and whitest thing to touch toronto since rob ford— jonah hill (@gabrielle_mckay) March 13, 2018
The hooplah started when a brand management group called The 5700 Inc. promoted the renaming of its forthcoming food festival series – the one that used to be known as the Vegan Food & Drink Festival.
In the process of announcing the Vegandale Food Festival, the group revealed on its new website that seven cruelty-free storefronts would be available on the block by the end of 2018.
"Our downtown Toronto urban playground for the vegan and vegan curious exists to bring the best of the vegan world together..." reads a press release announcing the festival's name change from March 6.
"But we can't contain that to one city block, so we're packing up and taking over the world!"
If you come up to me and refer to Parkdale as Vegandale there's a 98.9% chance that I'm gonna spit in your face, or worse.— That Dude. WOOOO!!!! (@TheDudeSSC) March 8, 2018
To make true change (and not just a bourgeoisie movement for the elite few with the luxury of making ethical considerations), we need #veganspaces that are accessible to ALL bodies, income levels, eating practices, and cultures. I know that we are completely capable of this.— Jayeden W (@Vernal_Wisdom) March 9, 2018
Vegans from all over the world have been swooning over the idea of a meat-free district like this in their own cities, but their fantasies may be a bit overblown. I might even have something to do with that.
What's important to note is that nobody wants to kick Parkdale out of Parkdale.
Vegandale – a name that started as a joke among staff at The 5700 – is really just a group of businesses forming a community for those with similar goals and interests.
Of course, like veganism itself, there are those who will remain staunchly, almost inexplicably opposed to the existence of such a district – especially given Vegandale's self-described "roots in abolitionism" and "unapologetic messaging."
"This premiere destination for the vegan and vegan curious is the only one of its kind," reads the group's website.
"Promoting a world where animal exploitation is a thing of the past."
Join the conversation Load comments